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July 21, 2017  
REFERENCE: Ask an Expert

Below are some of the most-recently-answered questions from our Medical Experts. We recommend you read over these questions as well as search our "Frequently Asked Questions" to see if your question has already been answered.



Question:
CAN A ROTATOR CUFF TEAR BE REPAIRED MORE THAN ONCE? THANKS, MCK

Question submitted by: [email protected]

Dr. Hasan
Dr. Hasan is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in shoulder, elbow, and general orthopaedic problems. Dr. Hasan has received the M.D. degree and a Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering, both from Vanderbilt University. He completed residency training at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago followed by fellowship training at both the University of Washington and the Texas Orthopaedic Hospital in Houston. Dr. Hasan has published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented his research efforts at national and international orthopaedic conferences. Dr. Hasan’s areas of interest include: arthroscopic and open surgery of the shoulder, elbow, and knee as well as joint replacement surgery. He currently practices at Cincinnati Sportsmedicine and Orthopaedic Center.


Answer:
Yes, a rotator cuff tear can be repaired more than once, but the likelihood that the second repair will provide lasting comfort and improved function depends on the reason the first repair did not succeed. If the repair was doing well and then failed as a result of a sudden injury and your tendon is of otherwise good quality, then one should be able to repair the tendon again securely (in many cases, at least). However, if the tendon is of poor quality (from years of wear and tear), and if the symptoms (pain, night pain, weakness, stiffness) have returned without a significant re-injury, then it is unlikely a second repair will be successful.

   
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